'Grave error of judgment': Footballer apologises for controversial Orangeman tweet

'Grave error of judgment': Footballer apologises for controversial Orangeman tweet

A FOOTBALLER who saw a move collapse after a controversial old tweet resurfaced has apologised, calling the post 'a grave error of judgment'.

Dubliner Joe Gorman was unveiled as a Portadown player on January 8, only for the deal to be axed three days later.

The decision came amid opposition from the club's fans, who highlighted an old tweet from Gorman from 2014.

Making reference to a TV show featuring Ross Kemp examining sectarian division in Northern Ireland, Gorman wrote: "Wouldn't you just love to open up on all them Orangemen?"

The message was flagged at the time, with Gorman's then club, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, suspending the player and Police Scotland reportedly saying it would conduct enquiries.

It is unclear whether Portadown were aware of the tweet when they attempted to sign the player, but following its re-emergence the deal for Gorman was nixed.

'Narrow world view'

In a statement this week, Gorman apologised for the tweet, saying he has come to understand the upset it caused.

"I would like to address an issue from my past," he wrote.

“In 2014, at the age of 19, I posted a tweet that I sincerely regret.

"It was at a time in my life where my world view was particularly narrow and I did not appreciate the gravity of my comment.

"I had not intended for it to be taken seriously but I now completely understand why many people did so and were naturally very upset by it.

"It was borne out of a combination of teenage bravado and a lack of understanding."

'I have grown up'

Gorman added that he wasn’t trying to excuse his actions and that he hoped his experience could help him educate others.

"I say this not as an excuse but merely by way of explanation,” he added.

"It was a grave error of judgment on my part and one I wish I could take back.

"I have grown up and appreciate that we all have different outlooks on life which must be respected.

"I apologise unreservedly for my tweet and I would like to continue to education younger people as I did back in 2014 when I visited schools to speak of bigotry and the correct use of social media so that others can learn from my mistake."

Gorman returned to Ireland in 2014 after his release from Inverness, having spells at Bray Wanderers and Drogheda United.

He had stints with several clubs in England and Scotland between 2016 and 2018 before joining Cliftonville in the NIFL Premiership.

His proposed move to Portadown came after spells at Longford Town and Galway United.